It’s time for fall fashion! Even if it might be a little hotter than you want it to be right now, cold weather is right around the corner. That means a critical, often abrupt, shift in your wardrobe from clothes to wear when it’s boiling hot to clothes to wear when it’s crisp and chilly. Whether you’re not ready for that shift or have been eagerly waiting on it since the first day of summer, you’ll need to adapt. 

How to layer up without looking baggy or shapeless? Or how to use a baggy look to your advantage as cute and casual? What kinds of colors should you utilize? If you’re someone that thrives in warm weather like I do, it may be difficult at first to adjust your style to fit with the cooler weather in fall.

Start off with some staples: jeans, cardigans, and boots. Everyone can mix and match these to create something stylish. Fitted jeans with a nice top and a loose or long cardigan is a good way to achieve a casual look. Long cardigans are also good to pair with anything that ends above the knee, like shorts, mini-skirts, and short knit dresses.You can even take the outfit up a level by embellishing it with hats or scarves.

I know I’m behind the curve on this one, but a neat trick I discovered recently is that you can turn a summer dress with spaghetti straps into a cute fall addition to your wardrobe. Simply wear a long-sleeve shirt beneath the dress—I find that plain shades of black or white usually match best, but if you’re creative enough, you may be able to work in something more colorful. Since summer dresses are usually more colorful or detailed, this is a good way to spice up your earthy fall tones with something more bright. I am also a huge fan of skirts that start above the waist and end around the knees. These types of skirts are usually fitted to emphasize hips, so these are a good option if that’s your goal.

When they’re used for good, layers can be powerful. Random shirts and jackets stacked on top of each other may end up looking sloppy. That’s fine if it keeps you warm, but if you’re going for a more stylish look, you have to be particular about what you use to layer. For example, putting a sweater over a button down with the cuffs and collar peeking out from underneath creates a more classy or preppy look. A hoodie under a leather jacket paired with jeans looks more punk or casual, while a turtleneck paired with a cardigan is a classic hipster look. Even a plain t-shirt under a jacket can be pulled off if the jacket is really nice or paired with a loose, fashionable scarf. 

Of course, part of fall is also dressing in your comfiest pair of sweatpants and a hoodie. As much as I love coordinating skirts and boots, sometimes I just don’t feel like making all that fuss. Sneakers, joggers and hoodies are the ramen noodles of fall. Everybody’s got some on hand, and maybe they’re not the coolest thing available, but they’re simple and comfortable. Ultimately, whether you’re rocking the preppy and hipster looks or the comfy and lazy looks, fall fashion has something for everybody to enjoy. 

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